For Alex Borstein, the 2019 Emmys were a time for celebration and reflection.
Onstage accepting her trophy for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, she turned the conversation to her grandmother, a Holocaust survivor. "My grandmother was in line to be shot into a pit and she said, ‘What happens if I step out of line?'" the actress told the audience. "He said, ‘I don't have the heart to shoot you but somebody will.' And she stepped out of line. And for that, I am here. And for that, my children are here. So step out of line ladies. Step out of line."
The moment sparked a viral phenomenon, but for Borstein and her Marvelous Mrs. Maisel co-star Rachel Brosnahan, it's a motto they've lived by for years. On the Amazon award-winning show, the duo step out and away from the perceived norm, portraying ambitious, strong-minded women for what they truly are: really freaking funny. In fact, according to Borstein, it's absurd we're still even asking whether women can crack a joke. "Do I think men are funny? That's a better question," she told to E! News. "Only when they're naked."
And on Amy Sherman-Palladino's Maisel, this du never needs to ditch their clothes just to score a laugh. Brosnahan plays perfect, Jewish housewife turned single comic Midge Maisel, trying to make it in the stand-up circuit dominated by men. By her side for every joke is Borstein's crass, toilet-plunging aficionado Susie Myerson.
They're an unlikely duo, but when they join forces—and put their t-ts up—they're unstoppable. "I love their relationship so much," Brosnahan has raved. "It's really the core of the show, this budding womance, as Alex lovingly refers to it. They are such an odd couple and they've chosen to link arms and walk down this unbeaten path together."
Offscreen, they're following suit. For the get-go, the co-stars—ironically both from Chicago's Highland Park neighborhood—have had a familial camaraderie.
"When I went to the audition, we were put in the room and read together having never met," Borstein recalled to the LA Times. "And it just worked. She's a very delicate, feminine creature. And I'm kind of like a bulldog. And it just worked. It was an immediate amount of trust."
It's that honest, tell it like it is dynamic that allows them to shine—and land (just about) every joke. "I try and ask Alex all kinds of advice during the stand-up," the 29-year-old told E!. "Usually Alex just tells me not to f--k it up." Which, not a bad recommendation.
It's a once-in-a-lifetime kind of a relationship. "People strive for that type of friendship," Borstein said. "Where you can be harsh with each other rand still take care of each other."
"Female friendships are the most important thing in my life," continued the icon. "It's the truest, most genuine relationship that's possible. And so I'm happy the show celebrates that because you don't get to see it a lot."
And now, to celebrate the show's third season, get your t-ts up and keep scrolling through to relive this duo's best offscreen moments.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 3 now streaming on Amazon.